Mountaineering Commission investigates training, accident issues


Training programmes, climbing accidents and traditional values were discussed at the recent Mountaineering Commission meeting in Chamonix, France.

During the meeting delegates evaluated the work of the commission and its two working groups: the Training Standards Group and Legal Experts Working Group.

A number of key topics were discussed at the event, including the recent collaboration between the commission and the Petzl Foundation. The aim of this union is to assist developing countries to establish national leader training programmes. A manual has already been produced as an aid to countries producing training material and work has been carried out in Nepal. The commission showed delegates its plans to work with India on the topic in the near future.

Chiaki Aoyama, from Japan, was a guest speaker at the event and presented his research on climbing accidents in Japan and abroad. This was directly related to the commission’s aim to, along with Aoyama, compare climbing accidents in different countries. They hope that this will help guides to learn where the highest risks in mountaineering are and that this would improve teaching methods.

The Mountaineering Commission would also like to provide guidance to climbers operating outside of their own country. The issue of traditional values and policies regarding bolted climbing were discussed, in relation to climbers acting inappropriately when functioning abroad. This was often due to differences in policies and lack of awareness, which the commission aims to reduce.

Other work done at the event was on the future policy of the UIAA and the commission’s role within the organisation. The full report of the meeting, written by Phil Wickens (BMC), Secretary, UIAA Mountaineering Commission, is available for download here.

The meeting was a huge success for the UIAA’s Mountaineering Commission and showed the importance of the commission’s work to mountaineering around the world.